Howdy, gorgeous jam doughnuts!
Damn, is it September already? Last I checked it was still June! It's been so busy at work, half the population of my suburb barely knows what year it is. I'm not complaining though - the work is great and I'm really, really excited to see the project when it comes out!
My trip to Canada and the United States was completely full of awesome - I won't bore you all with the details, suffice to say I can't wait to come back and visit. Can
wait to drive, because that was nerve-wracking as all hell (mostly the other-side-of-the-road thing, and a few different rules that Paul and I had to constantly keep in our minds), but I'll definitely be returning to West Coast at some point in the near future.
Some noteworthy things (mainly for Kiwis who're interested in visiting)
- The roads are amazing. So much smoother than NZ roads and way less twisty (more space I guess)
- Once you get used to driving, you'll notice how much the road rules make sense
, as compared to our mish-mash of guidelines.
- Just be aware, people drive faster than we're used to, and in cities everyone
knows where they're going... so you should too. If not, find out quickly!
- The food is good. REALLY good. Yeah, we've heard our horror stories, but seriously I've had some of the best chow ever in California and Vancouver. YUM. The only bad experience was a Subway, and that was just dumb of me.
- Americans are professional queue-ers. We suffer from the "British Sigh", which we employ almost unconsciously in queues, but Americans are great for just... dealing when they have to stand in line for any amount of time. Disneyland? Hour long queues... and do I hear one complaint? Never. Pull that kind of thing in Wellington and you'll hear your fair share of moaning, but even in the longest queues, everyone was chilled as... I did my best to follow suit, though I'm afraid to say there was a little listless toe-tapping going on.
- Everyone is so nice. Everyone is happy to help you. I was blown away by the friendliness and generosity I came across in almost any situation. I didn't think anything bad to begin with, of course, but I was quite surprised at how everyone really made you feel at home - even if you were just buying a doughnut off them. MY favourite situation was at Comic Con, where people (lots of people, not just a few - we're talking a veritable sea of people here!) would stop and let you take photos
in a busy corridor, without complaining or saying anything
at all. Most would just smile and be on their way once you'd snapped up a storm. No one ever pushed in or elbowed and everyone
stopped to let young children or people of limited mobility by. It was so lovely. And everyone one says "Excuse me" or "Pardon me"...even little kids
... it's a dream for a politeness-nazi like me.
- Cheese pretzels are disgusting. Sorry, but they are. Cinnamon sugar ones, however... I lived off those at Comic Con.
- Espresso coffee over there IS good, it's the filter stuff that isn't. But I've never found filter coffee to taste like anything but
dirt that had some coffee spilt on it, so...
- Clothes sizes are a bit all over the place, so make sure you try before you buy. Generally, they're about two sizes below ours, so a 10 would be an 8, but every place seemed different.
- Get ready to experience change. As in shrapnel. For those of you who remember our 1 and 2 cent pieces, it's like way back then when we used to jingle when we walked. I used to chuck all my change in the tip jars, but soon learned it was a good idea to have about twenty cents in pennies and dimes on me.
- Speaking of tips, it's not hard. We paid tips to anyone who provided a service personally for you - waiters/esses in restaurants, taxi drivers, concierge and it usually starts at 15% of the bill. If there isn't a bill, just be kind - minimum wage is shit over there. If there is a bill, just double the tax. SO EASY.
- I loved the way you're given the bill at restaurants, rather than having to wait at the register... Makes a much nicer dining experience, if you ask me!
- Not everyone thinks you're an Aussie. We got a few "Are you from Australia?" questions, but as soon as we started to say no, they quickly followed up with "Oh! New Zealand?", which was nice. We got asked a couple of times what the difference sounded like, but I can't replicate accents well, and didn't want to insult any Australians by trying
Anyway... those are my little observations. There were more, but they've kind of gotten lost in the last few 70+ hour weeks I've been working. Sorry :sad:
Nice to be back though! I hope to chuck up some more work soon, but in the meantime:
for a commission, as well as prints from Dante themselves, and